Nagi no Asukara: Episode 16 – “The Whispers of the Faraway Waves”

Nagi no Asukara is set in a world where long ago, human civilization lived on the ocean floor. However, there were humans who wanted to live above the surface and moved to land, and this created a separation between the humans. The series started out by focusing on four middle school students who live in the ocean named Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname. Because their middle school shut down, they had attend a school on land. During the first episode, Manaka met Tsumugu, one of their new classmates. He’s from a family of fishermen and has an interest in the underwater village. At the beginning of episode 14, five years have passed and a lot of things have changed.

Hikari is now attending the junior high, and he is in Miuna’s class. Some of the students remember the Ofunehiki, and they also want to see his Ena.

After school, as Hikari and Miuna are walking home from school, Miuna is almost hit by a car. Hikari pulls her out of the way, and she ends up clinging to his arm. Even though Miuna has a crush on Hikari, she finds this position to be rather surprising, and quickly gets herself out of it. A boy that likes Miuna sees what happens, and Miuna goes over to talk to him. After they talk and the boy rides away on his bike, Hikari teases Miuna because he thinks that Miuna likes the boy on the bike.

Since Itaru has a day off coming up, Akari decides she wants to make a family trip into town in order to get a school uniform for Hikari. Unfortunately, Akira comes down with a fever that morning, so Hikari and Miuna are given money to get the uniform. Since Hikari is trying to come up with excuses to not get the uniform, Miuna decides to call Sayu and invite her to go along.

On the way to the tailor’s, Miuna spends a lot of time talking with Hikari, and it’s obvious that Sayu is starting to feel like a “third wheel.” When they get to the tailor’s, Miuna insists that Hikari get the uniform of his old junior high in the sea, and then leaves the building. When Sayu follows her out, the two of them end up getting into a fight. After Hikari decides to not get a uniform, he exits the building and finds the two girls in their fight. Miuna becomes upset and runs off, while Sayu stays and starts crying.

Later, Hikari finds Miuna at the old shipyard and the two talk, and at one point, Miuna takes off one of her shoes and throws it at him. However, an old crane suddenly falls, blocking Hikari from Miuna. While Miuna isn’t crushed by the crane, she loses her footing and falls into the sea. She doesn’t know how to swim, so she thinks she’s going to drown. However, she hears a strange sound and then finds she can suddenly swim. Hikari is able to get into the water and rescue her. Miuna and Sayu are also able to make up.

Something happens at the end of the episode that I find myself believing is tied into the strange sound that Miuna heard and why she was suddenly able to swim.

This episode has a strong emphasis on Miuna and the crush she has on Hikari. During their fight, Sayu points out that an uncle and a niece can’t get married, because they’re too closely related. And then Sayu asks if Miuna invited her along so she could flaunt flirting with Hikari to her. The final shot Sayu gives is that Miuna is mean and that the good things always happen to her; the guy Miuna likes has woken back up, while Kaname (who we saw Sayu had a crush on earlier in the series) hasn’t come back.

Maybe it’s just me, but I had never truly picked up on the fact that Miuna had a crush on Hikari five years earlier; I had always seen her interacting with him as if he were an older brother.  Because of this, I’ve had a hard time truly accepting Miuna’s feelings and actions after the timeskip, and it kind of feels forced to me. At least Sayu’s crush on Kaname was very blatant before, so I can find it believable.

With what happens at the end of the episode, it’s going to add yet another layer of confusion for several of the characters of the series.

Even though I may not entirely buy Miuna’s crush on Hikari, I’m still enjoying the second half of Nagi no Asukara. I’m looking forward to watching episode 17 in order to find out what happens next.

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